Swaziland's Alien Plants Database

Richardia scabra L.
RUBIACEAE
Florida purslane, pursley, yaa thaa phra, rough Mexican clover, white eye, poaia do cerrado, ricardia
Invasive, Minor problem species
Origin: Tropical America
Growth Form: Herb
Plant Description: Erect to prostrate, loosely branched annual. The stems are hairy, up to 0.8 m long and do not usually root at the nodes. The leaves are oppositely arranged, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate shaped, up to 6.5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The leaves may be almost smooth, except for the margins, to rough on both leaf surfaces, and predominantly rough on principle veins. The leaf apex may be rounded to pointed. The leaf base is tapered with petioles ranging from very short to about 5 mm long. The opposite leaves are connected by a sheath with several ascending, hair-like appendages from 2-5 mm in length. The flowers are in a terminal head-like cluster composed of 20 or more flowers. The head is usually subtended by two pairs of leaves. The second or upper pair is usually much smaller than, and at right angles to, the lower pair of leaves. The outer part of the flower consists of 6 narrow lobes. These lobes are joined at the base forming a tube. The petals are also united and are usually white to occasionally pink or lavender and funnelform in shape. The tube ranges in length from 2-8 mm and the lobes of the petals are from 0.5-2.5 mm long. Each flower typically produces 3 nutlets from 2-3.5 mm in length and about 1.5-2 mm in width. The nutlets are more or less oblong to obovate shaped. The outer surface of the nutlet is covered with wart-like protuberances.
Key Features: The inflorescence and flowers are very similar to R. brasiliensis, but it differs in having fruits with short, not long, hairs.
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